While it’s true Christmas has come and gone, the memories of time well-spent with family and friends lingers long after the presents have been put away or forgotten.
Memories of Christmas Eve services, performances of the Nutcracker, leaving cookies and milk for Santa or playing games with cousins are just some of the traditions many families look forward to each year.
About 18 years ago, our extended family began playing a game we call “Dirty Santa.” For this game, each member of the family over the age of two has the opportunity to choose a wrapped gift from under the tree. Sometimes the gifts are great and sometimes they are “gag” gifts, but the unknown is what makes this game both fun and scary. Some of the more notable “gag” gifts through the years have been toe art, sardines, “tacky” Christmas sweatshirts (which have to be modeled) and a bed pan.
While it’s true we have fun celebrating as a family, that fun is tempered with the knowledge not everyone is so lucky. Teaching our children and grandchildren Christmas is not just about “getting things,” but giving, we participate in service-oriented projects such as Samaritan’s Purse shoebox ministry, serving food at a local mission, or donating items to local charities.
Whatever your family tradition(s), just know the memories made and the love shared will reap benefits for years to come. If interested in finding new ideas for your family celebration next year, Pinterest is a great place to look. Scrolling through pinterest boards, recently, I found an interesting idea I want to try called “Christmas jars.”
Best selling author, Jason F. Wright, said he and his family started this tradition years ago when he began collecting spare change in a jar. Donating the money to needy families at Christmas, Jason has seen first hand the blessings this act of kindness has been for the recipients. Excited others across the nation have joined in this meaningful gesture, Jason shares some of their stories on his Facebook page. His novel, “Christmas Jars,” gives deeper insight into what this act of kindness means and is available on Amazon.com.
Another great place to get ideas for Christmas is Katrena Allison’s blog, How to Keep Christmas Meaningful and Special for the Family. Katrena includes both do’s and don’ts, such as decorating for someone who isn’t able and guarding down time so as not to get exhausted. Having a number of blogs about the holidays, she includes one we all should read, How to stay within a budget.
Do you have a favorite Christmas memory or tradition you’d like to share? If so, leave a comment, message on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.